When Xbox Live launched many, many, years ago, the platform was aimed at making the task of playing games online, significantly easier. Over the years, the online service has continued to grow and has become the backbone of the Xbox brand.
The online platform has slowly expanded with features and functionality to make it feel more like a community and Microsoft is about to embark on its biggest expansion to date. The company is looking to bring Xbox Live to Android, iOS and even Nintendo’s Switch.
Spotted by Windows Central, the posting on the GDC scheduling website makes it crystal clear, Xbox Live support is expanding to new devices. The post says ” Now Xbox Live is about to get MUCH bigger. Xbox Live is expanding from 400M gaming devices and a reach to over 68M active players to over 2B devices with the release of our new cross-platform XDK. Get a first look at the SDK to enable game developers to connect players between iOS, Android, and Switch in addition to Xbox and any game in the Microsoft Store on Windows PCs.”
This plays right into Microsoft’s SaaS playbook, create a service, expand it to new platforms, and then grow its user base. This expansion of Live means that, if a developer implements the features, you will be able to earn achievements, access your friend’s list, and your clubs, from devices other than Microsoft apps and services; Microsoft is trying to make Xbox the backbone of the online gaming world.
The question that remains is if developers will actually take advantage of this functionality. While there are benefits for those gamers who use Xbox, we know that this community is relatively small compared to the overall gaming community when you compare it to casual gamers on iOS and Android devices. That being said, if Microsoft can prove to devs that integrating the Xbox services into their game will increase monetization and user retention, it could benefit everyone involved.
GDC, or Game Developer Conference, takes place from March 18-22, expect to hear a lot more about how Microsoft envisions this service and how they hope to attract new developers who may have previously never considered using Xbox Live.